Travelling by train this Christmas? Here’s what you need to know

Wednesday 18th December 2019

Rail passengers travelling over the Christmas period are being warned to travel early and to check their plans before leaving home as Network Rail continues maintenance works this Christmas. 

Several, separate pieces of improvement and maintenance work will take place across the GWR network between Christmas Eve and Wednesday 1 January.

GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said:

“It’s absolutely essential that Network Rail do this work, and Christmas is the only time that we can do it. Unfortunately, this means that we are not able to offer services between Reading and London Paddington on the 24 and 27 December.

“With industrial action on the South Western Railway network there are limited options for alternative travel on those dates and we advise customers to carefully consider this before they travel.

“A reduced service will be back running on the 28 December, with our full and improved timetable from Thursday 2 January. I am grateful to customers for their patience during these works.”

How will my journey be affected?

The work will see no rail services able to operate between Reading/Slough and London Paddington from Tuesday 24 December and Friday 27, and a reduced service from Saturday 28 and Tuesday 31 December.

Replacement bus services will operate from Slough towards Hillingdon. Alternatively, customers can travel on South Western Railway between Reading and Waterloo but are warned that strike action is likely to affect service frequency.

In South Wales the continued overhead wiring work at Cardiff Central and track renewal at Newport means that buses will replace trains between Bristol Parkway and Cardiff Central/Bridgend from Friday 27 December to Wednesday 1 January.

Further south on GWR’s North Downs route between Reading and Gatwick, work to strengthen a bridge at Guildford will affect trains. A bus replacement service will operate between North Camp, Guildford, Redhill and Gatwick Airport.  

Bridge maintenance in Salisbury will affect train services between Warminster and Southampton Central on Friday 27 December only. A bus replacement service will operate between Warminster and Southampton Central.

More details about the impact of the planned engineering work on trains during the Christmas and New Year period can be found atGWR.com/Christmas.